For all my fellow Twins fans out there, we wander again into an offseason filled with what-if's. Unlike in years past, we have reason to hope that our team MAY break with old habits and spend some of our hard-earned money with the move into beautiful Target Field. As stated in an earlier post, I feel we should concentrate on bringing in a true #1 pitcher to mentor and anchor a young and talented group of starters. There are options out there, some better than others. The theme for my pitchers is "rebound", because it would seem that everyone that will be out there is coming off injury/surgery. Here are a few players that are out there. One of my personal favorites is:
Tim Hudson: All this guy does is win. Yes, there is an injury risk there, but there is also tremendous upside in mentorship alone. He has been playing for an organization that wins consistently, and that attitude will add to an already winning-attitude in Minnesota. Has a mutual team/player option for 2010, so very likely could stay in Atlanta. Hope to see him in a Twins uniform. He has good stuff, and would be cheaper than...
Brandon Webb - No guarantees, but if he can get back to form that would be an unbelievable pickup for us. True Ace (if healthy)
Ben Sheets - see Webb, Brandon
Jon Garland - Not really sure we need this guy either. He is another Scott Baker (not a bad thing), but we have 3 players like Baker on our team: Slowey, Blackburn and (well) Baker. I would group our other starters in that as well, but have not seen enough of them yet.
Rich Harden - I don't see what everyone likes about this guy. ERA is nice, but there is no innings there. We have had problems with our Bullpen getting abused the past few years, and we had the ball off to a guy that has pitched more than 150 innings just once. Remember a guy named Slowey, who last pitched in July? He was 50 innings shy of Harden's full season. Brian Duensing? Started 9 games and threw over half the innings Harden did. Asking me? No thanks. Give him to someone else.
Brad Penny - Not a bad option, but there are better ones listed here. He will go to a big-market team wanting someone to eat innings.
John Smoltz - will retire
Jarrod Washburn - No thanks.
As for our SS/3B situation:
Orlando Cabrera - Not a bad option, but think the draft pick is better. Says he wants to stay, and that would be better than Lil' Nicky Punto.
Marco Scutaro - Enticing. Can he maintain what he did last year? If Punto is our only other option, then I say we go with the Toronto option. 3B and SP is more important though.
Miguel Tejada - Way too expensive. Good average, and would be another legitimate bat in our order. Not gonna happen with big market clubs out there. Here's hoping he is a bust... Is that bad?
J.J. Hardy - Good possibility that he is available. The question is can we get him without making another Garza/Bartlett deal... SS to me is the 3rd priority, so we should push harder for...
Mark DeRosa - My #1 choice, bar-none. He hits for power and has a decent glove. Oh yeah, and he plays every position. If that doesn't scream Twins, I don't know what does. Average is a bit low, but is better than Crede.
Obviously, we have some internal options as well. Buscher? No. Crede? May get re-signed, but that would be a mistake. Tolbert is not a Third baseman, but needs at-bats. Brendan Harris makes too many errors, and I think he should be looking for a job elsewhere. Perhaps a barbershop (what was with the mullet?). On the big-league side, that leaves Nick Punto. To quote Airhole27, Nick punto has a good chance at giving Joe Mauer a run at a batting title in 2010 (yes, I am kidding but awesome stat). Great Defensive player, and team guy. We have Danny Valencia, Matt Macri and the amazing-disappearing Tommy Watkins in the Minors. Who knows what may happen in the Spring. I like our chances much better with a DeRosa addition.Nick punto has a good chance at giving Joe Mauer a run at a batting title in 2010 (yes, I am kidding but awesome stat). Great Defensive player, and team guy. We have Danny Valencia, Matt Macri and the amazing-disappearing Tommy Watkins in the Minors. Who knows what may happen in the Spring. I like our chances much better with a DeRosa addition.
Bottom line: We need an ACE; We need a healthy bat at 3B, and a "Justin, Joe, J.J." lineup would be just too cool. Add those 2-3 pieces (and keeping our other pieces healthy) and we will have much better success in 2010 and beyond. Looking forward to Target Field, and another AL Central Championship in outdoor baseball. Go Twins!